A crew of employees from the Sportsman's Alamo Cantina gets Davy Crockett settled into his new home at Mystery Spot Antiques, next door to the Cantina on Phoenicia's Main Street. Photo from the Mystery Spot's Facebook page.
There were plenty of weighty items on the agenda of the Shandaken Town Board meeting on Monday. There was stream work to be done, before a looming state deadline of September 30. There was a contract with a cell tower operator that needed extending. There was the independent auditor who had to be hired to look over the town's federal flood recovery spending.
And then there was Resolution #115-13: A resolution in honor of a notable local resident, "Mr. Crockett, that is Davy, Davy Crockett."
Although the historical Davy Crockett may never have set foot in the Catskills, he's been an iconic figure on Phoenicia's Main Street for decades. Since the 1970s, a ten-foot-tall fiberglass statue of Davy Crockett has stood in front of the Sportsman's Alamo Cantina, a rifle slung over his shoulder and a coonskin cap on his head.
A few months ago, Main Street became abruptly Davy-less, after Cantina owner Mike Ricciardella moved the big statue to make way for some restoration work on the Cantina's patio. But the statue was too beloved to be homeless for long. Laura Levine -- owner of Phoenicia's quirky off-beat vintage treasure trove Mystery Spot Antiques, just next door to the Cantina -- said her landlords Ray and Robin Kirk quickly stepped in to offer Davy a new home.
"They just told me, 'By the way, Davy Crockett's going to be in front of your store now.' I was over the moon," Levine said. "He even matches. He's color-coordinated with the store."
At high noon on Saturday, August 17 -- the real Davy Crockett's 227th birthday -- the Mystery Spot and Cantina are hosting a celebration in honor of Davy, with a lookalike contest, prizes from other local businesses, and a ukelele show. The community is pitching in -- including town supervisor Rob Stanley, who drafted a resolution in honor of the event, drawing heavily on lyrics from the "Ballad of Davy Crockett." (Notably absent from the resolution: The verse about the "Injun war.")
At Monday's regular town meeting, board member Jack Jordan clearly enjoyed reading the resolution aloud -- pausing to point out that it was in fact a "bar" Crockett killed when he was only three, not a "bear," and noting that everything west of Boiceville was the wild frontier.
"Whereas, Mr. Crockett apparently was born on a mountaintop in Tennessee..." Jordan sang, prompting general laughter and a protest from Stanley.
"You promised no singing," Stanley said.
"I went to the Festival of the Voice and practiced," Jordan retorted.
Apparently, not everyone on the town board approved. When asked for his vote, board member Vincent Bernstein declined to vote, leaving the vote 4-0 in favor of the resolution.
"I have to abstain. He's a relative," Bernstein said.
Town clerk Joyce Grant pressed Bernstein on his recusal. "I need a real reason," she said.
"I gave the reason," Bernstein replied.
"He's a relative? Really?" Grant said. "The bear?"
"Him too," Bernstein said.
Although non-binding resolutions have at times been contentious in Shandaken, this one wasn't meant to stir up any controversy, Stanley told the Watershed Post.
"It's a memorializing resolution, it has no teeth really," Stanley said. "I thought it would be fun to use the Disney theme song."
"If you work for the government, you have to have a sense of humor," she said.
Below: YouTube video from the Shandaken town board meeting, Monday, August 5. For more video of town meetings, see the Town of Shandaken's official YouTube page.